The fight of giants continues: Lukaku’s dedication gesture and Ibrahimovic’s unthinkable reaction at the Derbi della Madonnina

Lukaku dedicated the goal to Zlatan

This Sunday it took place el Derbi della Madonnina between the pointer of Serie A, the Inter, in front of his immediate pursuer the Milan. A crash that ended in a landslide neroazurra and that it had some extra seasonings, like the reunion between Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romelu Lukaku, who had starred a heated discussion during the first leg of the Italian Cup.

This time it was the Belgian striker who prevailed over the Swede after his team won 3-0 with one goal from him and two from his teammate Lautaro Martínez. However, when it came to converting, he seemed to have remembered that clash.

The former Manchester United had a very valuable performance, with a shout and an assist, and according to Italian television, his celebration had a clear audience. He is now the top gunner in the league.

The mural they painted in San Siro after the two clashed "giants" (Reuters)
The mural they painted in San Siro after the clash of the two “giants” (Reuters)

“I’m the best, damn it, I, I, I told you so”, were the words that Lukaku would have spoken, according to Sky Italy, while beating his chest after scoring a spectacular goal to close the Derby. Phrase that apparently was for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who from the other side of the field applauded with gestures of resignation. Their applause was taken in two different ways in the networks, while some considered that it was to motivate a team that had to overcome a 3-0, others claimed that he surrendered to his rival.

This rivalry was conceived during the first leg of the Italian Cup semifinals that were disputed in January. The two argued angrily, putting their heads together defiantly, before being separated by their companions.

The image, which went around the world on television and on social media, was even immortalized this week by a fresco painted on a wall next to the San Siro stadium.

The altercation cost each a yellow card and Ibrahimovic was sent off in the second half, after a second warning. That matter could still have consequences, since both declared, and the sports authorities have yet to decide, for which they could receive an eventual suspension.

Between the insults exchanged, the Swede was accused, especially of referring to Congolese origins of the Belgian international, evoking voodoo beliefs. Those accusations were totally rejected by Ibra and his club.

Lukaku and Ibrahimovic went head-to-head during the first leg of the Italian Cup semifinals (Reuters)
Lukaku and Ibrahimovic went head-to-head during the first leg of the Italian Cup semifinals (Reuters)

Beyond their personal differences, the former PSG and Big Rom, who shared a team at Manchester United, are in frontal competition this year in the top scorers ranking, with 14 goals for the Swede and 17 for the Belgian.

With a double last weekend against Lazio (3-1) and this new conversion, Lukaku widened the margin over the Swede and surpassed Cristiano Ronaldo at the top of the table of top scorers, with 16 (Juventus).


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